Denial Will Hold You Back
“Denial is the most cunning, baffling, powerful part of my disease,” wrote one alcoholic who contributed to The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. “When I look back now, it’s hard to imagine I didn’t see a problem with my drinking. But instead of seeing the truth when all of the ‘jets’ (as in, that hasn’t happened to me – yet) started happening I just kept lowering my standards.
There is always someone who is a worse alcoholic than we are. Unfortunately, they don’t give out awards or keep an international scoreboard, so there’s never any definitive ranking. Somewhere, there might be the worst alcoholic to ever exist against whom we could safely compare our own experience with alcoholism and decidedly remark at least I wasn’t that bad.
We don’t have to be as “bad” or as sick as others. Our alcoholism might not look anything like the alcoholism experienced by other people. Comparing our alcoholism to our list of “haven’t happened yet” or “not that bad” is just a form of denial. Your alcoholism only has to be as bad as it needs to be for you. Everyone will experience their alcoholism differently– drinking different drinks in different quantities with different people in different settings for different reasons and so forth.
Getting Over Denial
What every alcoholic does have in common is that at some point, they get over their denial and recognize that their lives have become unmanageable when it comes to alcohol.
Still the delusion persists. Denial is a shock absorber for the soul, famous author on codependency Melody Beattie once described. “It prevents us from acknowledging reality until we feel prepared to cope with that particular reality. People can shout and scream the truth at us, but we will not see or hear it until we are ready.”
There is No Shame in Asking For Help
Once we look back from the other side of denial, we are able to see all the many ways we were blinded by our inability to embrace reality. Let’s be honest- nobody wants to be an alcoholic. Nobody wants to admit that they cannot control their drinking because they’ve completely lost their ability to do so. There’s still a shame in being in alcoholic that doesn’t need to be there. Asking for help isn’t shameful. Admitting you need help isn’t shameful.
Step one is not a step of defeat, even though it can feel that way and often times it needs to be that way. Step one is a step of courage. We might equate courage with strength but it is in our most powerless moments we can be the most courageous.
It takes courage to call and ask for help. Lakehouse Recovery Center is here to answer your call and help you find the recovery you’re looking for. Our residential services include detox, inpatient, and a twelve month aftercare program, keeping you involved in a fun, loving, clinically structured environment for your first year of recovery and beyond. For information, call us today at: 877.762.3707.